One of the most important tasks for children in the first five years of life is the development of language. Children enter preschool and kindergarten with immense differences in stages of development, and educators can meet this challenge by providing assessments and activities that support children’s phonemic awareness. The National Reading Panel found that “teaching phonemic awareness to children significantly improves their reading more than instruction that lacks any attention to PA.” Students who understand the correspondence between sequences of sounds in spoken words have a better base for becoming independent readers, making direct phonemic awareness instruction invaluable to a child’s future education. This course, aligned with the new Common Core Reading Standards, will provide educators with an understanding of phonemic awareness and appropriate approaches for promoting phonemic awareness skills in their classrooms. Participants will focus on effective methods for assessing and analyzing student phonemic awareness skills and will learn to create activities to build children’s phonemic awareness. This course, the first in a six-part reading certificate program, will culminate with the development of individual plans to incorporate phonemic awareness activities into the curriculum.